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Full text of "My country and my people"

LITERARY    LIFE                          24!
which comes from loves as sharp as a lover's eyes, and as unfailing and correct as a mother's intuition. This Einfuklung^ this sharing of human emotions with the universe, this poetic transformation of dead objects which makes the moss "mount" one's doorstep and the colour of grass ''enter" one's window-screen, this poetic illusion,, for illusion it is, is felt so intuitively and so constantly that it seems to constitute the very essence of Chinese poetry. An analogy ceases to be an analogy, but becomes a poetic truth. A man must be indeed more or less intoxicated with nature to write the following lines (by Ch'en Ngo) about the lotus flower, suggestive of Heine:
Lightly dips her green bonnet^ When a zephyr past her has blown; Red and naked she shows herself. When she is sure of being alone.
This review of the two sides of the poetic technique, regarding its treatment of scenery (eking) and emotion (cKing}^ enables us to understand the spirit of Chinese poetry and its cultural value to the nation. This cultural value is twofold* corresponding to the broad classification of Chinese poetry into the two types: (i) haofang poetry, or poetry of romantic abandonment, carefree, given to a life of emotion, and expressing a revolt against the restraints of society and teaching a profound love of nature, and (2) wanyueh poetry, or poetry of artistic restraint, tender, resigned, sad and yet without anger, teaching a lesson of contentment and the love of one's fellow-men, especially the poor and down-trodden, and inculcating a hatred of war.
Among the first type may be classified Ch'ii Ytian (343-290 E.G.), the pastoral poets like T*ao Ytianming, Hsieh Lingytin, Wang Wci} Meng Haojan (689-740), the crazy monk Hanshan (around the year 900), while nearer Tu Fu are Tu Mu (803-852), Po Chiiyi, Yuan Chen (779-831) and the greatest poetess of China, Li Ch'ingchao (1081-1141?). No strict classification is, of course, possible, but there was a third group of sentimental poets, like Li Ho (Li Ch'angchi, 790-816), Li Shangyto (813-858) and his contemporary Wen T'ingyii%